Why is customer service more important now?
When we talk about customer service, people will usually think about hotel and tourism business or banking business where products are less physical or tangible. However, customer service is actually a life line of any business, for example,
- In some industries such as steel, chemicals and other heavy industries, products are highly commoditized. Because products have similar features and can be substituted by products from other companies easily. If you don't want to compete in the price war, outstanding customer service is the holy grail.
- In B2B (business-to-business) environment such as enterprise software, customer acquisition cost is extremely high. The reason is that acquisition process is very long. In order to create awareness about your products, you have to hire public relations firm to promote your products, attend numerous trade shows and conferences, create many webinars so you can identify potential customers and approach them. What if you provide subpar customer service and customers run away? You start the whole customer acquisition process and cross your fingers.
- In virtually every company, you have to deal with other departments. Those people you are dealing with every day is actually your "internal customer". If a company doesn't run in sync, this might hurt the service you provide to your external customers. So internal customer service is also a very important concept.
Now you can see why we think customer service is the life line of business.
Need Customer Service Book?
What is the best customer service you'd recommend? One of our readers asked. We have some of our favorite customer service books we can recommend but we would like to compare them with other top notch books. So we decide to collect new data as below,
- First we gather the list of Amazon Top 100 Customer Service Books and remove duplicate items
- After that, we check each customer service book one by one if they got high customer ratings and/or get cited a lot by other books and publications
- Finally, we narrow down to top 7 customer service books by checking if each one of them got endorsement by business leaders in service functions and service businesses
Here are top 7 Customer Service Books:
- Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service , recommended by James F. Nordstrom (President of Nordstrom Stores)
- Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees , recommended by Stephen Cannon (CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA)
- Art of Client Service: The Classic Guide , recommended by Brian Halligan (CEO of HubSpot)
- Customer Rules: 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service , recommended by Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos.com)
- Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence: Handbook For Becoming the "Nordstrom" of Your Industry , recommended by J. W. Marriott Jr. (CEO of Marriott International)
- Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business , recommended by Beth Comstock (Vice Chair of GE)
- Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business , recommended by Steve Forbes (Chairman of Forbes Magazine)
In your opinion, what is your favorite customer service book and why?
Posted by Ben Benjabutr, the editor of SupplyChainOpz.com